Russian Drawing Course Part 12: Portrait Assignment

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    New Masters AcademyNew Masters Academy
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    In this lesson, we are going to bring together all of the structure and anatomy of the head and neck we’ve been studying in order to create a fully rendered portrait drawing from a live model.

    Students are encouraged to work from the NMA reference images and 3D viewer included on this page*, or from a live model.

    Join Ukrainian-born artist Iliya Mirochnik as he passes on a 250-year-old academic method preserved at the Repin Academy in Saint Petersburg, Russia and seldom taught outside of the Academy and never before on camera.

    The Russian Academic drawing and painting approaches were uninterrupted by the modern art movements that transformed representational art in the West, and as a result, they provide a unique and clear lineage to the greater art traditions of the past. As a powerful approach that is both constructive and depictive, it combines the two methods that prevail in contemporary representational art.

    In these three drawing Courses, we have set out to condense the entire program, spanning over eight years into a logical, step-by-step procedure. We have made improvements and added resources and exercises to explicitly drive home the concepts that are required to work in this approach.

    We have also structured the course so that it is not only useful for professional and experienced artists but also artists with no drawing experience whatsoever.

    In the first part of our Russian Academic Drawing Course, Iliya taught you how to hone your fundamental drawing skills. In this next part, Head & Neck, you will undertake a new challenge: the portrait.

    In order to draw the complexity of nature we need to study all the anatomy that makes up the surface form of the head and neck.

    Head & Neck covers topics such as the structure of the skull, individual bones of the skull, deep muscles of the face, skeleton of the neck & shoulder girdle, muscles of the shoulder girdle, and the portrait drawing process.

    The New Masters Academy Coaching Program directly supports this Course. If you enroll in the coaching program, you can request an artist trained in the Russian Academic Method including Iliya Mirochnik himself. Click here to enroll in the Coaching Program.


    • Sanguine pencil
    • Piece of sanguine colored chalk
    • Vine charcoal
    • Charcoal pencil
    • Notebook
    • Graphite pencils
    • Kneaded and Hard Erasers
    • Sanding Block
    • Utility Knife
    • Roll of Paper, Smooth Sketchbook paper
    • Staples
    • Staple gun
    • Artist panel
    • Easel
    • Light source

    * Reference material is only available for premium subscriptions. If you don’t have premium access to the reference, you can pause the video when the reference is shown.

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    In general this is the best drawing course I’ve seen at NMA. It seems to thin out a bit in the second half but it still packs a real wallop. I hope to see more like this and more from the instructor, Iliya Mirochnik. It is a benchmark course for certain.

    No badges. No points.

    Many thanks to Iliya Mirochnik for bringing his talent and knowledge to everyone. I am enjoying every bit of his instructional videos, they are tedious for sure but if we want to master what he did in his long-time training in Saint Petersburg’s Repin Institute we’d better be willing to “sustain the pain”…just joking of course, since what we learn here is a far cry from his own personal dedication as a student.

    G. Mello

    Jenifer Andrea Arana HerreraJenifer Andrea Arana Herrera
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    Voy a la mitad del ejercicio.

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